Black Tusk

Black Tusk Mountain in Garibaldi Provincial Park in British Columbia

GPS Coordinates are 49.976600646619175, -123.04286362910709.
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The Black Tusk is visible from almost everywhere in Whistler. The shape and colour of it's top peak is unmistakably The Black Tusk. This picture was taken in the early evening hours and the sun shed a reddish glow on the mountain.
The Black Tusk is a volcanic rock in Garibaldi Provincial Park. It peaks at 2,319 m above sea level.

Black Tusk at sunset

But that's not what we wanted to see. It is the view from the back. It has to be earned by climbing up to the plateau behind the mountain.
We started early in the morning from the Parking area to the Cheakamus Lake trail.

Black Tusk from the other side

Cheakamus Lake trail up to Helm CreekThe climb up is steep and almost never ending. From about 850 meter, the 7 km trail climbs to 1500 meter.

The forest changes from lush mossy trees to a dry alpine setting. It never gets boring. If you like to take pictures of mushrooms, bring a big memory stick.

Once we reached the plateau, it was almost a leisurely walk.

The path leads to the Helm Creek Camp site. This place is now on our list for the next trip. All the equipment has to be brought up, there is a total fire ban up there, so all the cooking gear has to be carried in.

Helm Creek Camp site

A few more kilometers until a one-way trail heads to the Black Tusk peak. This is a 400 meter climb to the foot of the black rock, which is not a real trail, it's all rubble. The kind where you advance one step and slide half a step back. At about 2150 meters, we decided to turn around. The number of hikers up there is amazing. We counted 50+ people attempting the Black Tusk.

Below the Black Tusk

The view makes you forget all the sweat until you realize that you have to descend the same distance. We did not return to our starting point and continued to the Rubble Creek Trailhead where we got a ride home. This is the Garibaldi Lake Black Tusk Trailhead Parking.

View over Garibaldi Lake

Big mushrooms along the wayThe flowers and trees along the way are impressive. But not as much as the mushrooms. They are of Jurassic proportions. We cought two jays pecking away from the stem.

The whole trip was about 29 kilometers and the start and end point were not at the same location. We started around 6am and it took us close to 11 hours. Most of the hikers start from the Garibaldi Lake Trailhead and return to the same place. We had the luxury of getting a lift back to the start location to pick-up the car. The Garibaldi Lake Trail head is not as steep, but longer. It is also busier.

First published on August 25, 2019 Contact Us  Help